"Pauly, you just got beat heads up by a girl.... again!" - ToniToni hosted another round of $40 buy-in tournaments at The TowneHouse. I was running a little late and quickly wandered out of Grand Central Station, past the hordes of commuters heading home after a long day at work, and even snickered at the pretentious idiots smoking cigarettes and yapping on their cellphones in front of Cipriani's. When I rounded the corner by the Whitney Museum annex, which is really a public space with gaudy sculptures, I also laughed at a running inside joke some friends of mine have going. I stopped by a bodega, picked up a six pack of Red Stripe (the official beer of the Tao of Poker), and I was ready to go.
We had 11 for the first tournament (Top 4 places paying) and 10 for the second (Top 3 pay). I took 2nd place in the first and bubbled out of the other. Last night was special because Toby from Nut Heart Flush crashed the event. I told Toni about her poker blog and after taking a peek, she offered up an invite right away. For two nights in a row, I played in a tourney with Toby. By Saturday, we will have played in three in four days together! Pretty random, huh?
Last night, Alma won both tournaments. And yes, I got beat by a girl.... heads up again... and blew a huge chip lead. Yeah, just another night of pink chips, bad beats, and inebriated lawyers.
Toni's pink poker chips
Enjoy the pic for all your curious readers who wondered what the chips looked like.
The Players... Tourney #1:Level 2: I won a few early pots and was above average. Sung was knocked out when he pushed all in with 88. Brian, who had been bullying a lot of people out of pots in the first half hour, quickly called with pocket tens. Down to 10.
Seat 1: Sung
Seat 2: Jim
Seat 3: Cliff
Seat 4: Seunghwan
Seat 5: Toni
Seat 6: Toby
Seat 7: Alma
Seat 8: Kathy
Seat 9: Damon
Seat 10: Brian
Seat 11: Pauly
Level 3: Damon was one of the shortstacks and he moved all in with AT. Seunghwan called with AK and he looked like he was one of the chipleaders with Brian.
Level 4: Cliff declares that the 32o is the Pauly Special after he mucks it when two people raised his blind. "I know you'd play it," he said. Momma always told me, "Defend those blinds! And make sure you have clean underwear on."
Level 5: Tony had AA in one of the blinds. Jim had 22 (which ended up being a popular hand for the night) and he called, only to be bounced in 9th place. A few hands later Alma raised 2x the BB and I called with A-10o. I flopped TPTK and be a hefty amount. Alma folded. I showed my A-10 and she showed me her AK. Disciplined laydown for her. A lot of folks on Party Poker would have chased. I had T1750 and feeling good after a few Red Stripes.
Level 8: I limped in with KQ. Cliff raised on the button. Toby called, Me too. The flop: K-9-5 and two spades. Toby bet and I reraised. Cliff folded and after thinking about it, Toby called. I put her on KT or Kx suited. She flipped over 10-5s... and had a good draw. Her hand didn't improve and she was knocked out in 8th. Kathy wasn't getting any hands all night. She was shortstacked and I called her 87s all in with J9s. I knocked her out and I was the chip leader with over T4000.
Level 7: I found AA in the BB. Sweet. When it got to me, I raised T500. I thought about trapping or slowplaying, but it was still too early for that move. I wasn't going to mess around with AA. I've been getting too fancy with my big hands and I decided it was time to play all my good hands strong. Everyone folded and I showed AA. I won a mall pot, but at least they held up. An orbit or two later, Brian in the LB raised my BB. I had AA again. I pushed all in and he called... with 22! He finished in 6th. Luckily AA held up twice against 22 and were winners both times for me. I had over T4600 and still leading.
Level 8: With five players left, we reached the bubble. Cliff was shortstacked and moved all in A7s. Toni called with pocket tens and Cliff river'd her with a flush. He doubled up.
Level 9: I had almost T5000. Seunghwan was second in chips but lost a couple of pots quickly. AJ and 99 lost. He doubled up both Alma and Toni. He was short stacked and I chopped a pot with him when I was dominated preflop.
Level 10: I eventually knocked out Seunghwan, when my AQ vs AJ took him out on the bubble. I made the money and was the chipleader. Alma's Big Slick almost knocked out Toni's when she had Mrs. Slick. Toni had a few pink chips left but not looking too good.
Level 11: I got lucky against Cliff's shortstack. He moved all in with AJ and I called with K9s and caught a King. He was out in fourth. I knocked out Toni with JJ. She came in third. It was heads up... me against Alma. The biggest hand was my 64s vs her 53o. She caught a three on the river to take away my chip lead. She was ahead after that. When I pushed all in on the final hand... I was ahead, and alas, she outlfopped me and took first place.
Alma counts her winnings
I can't complain. I placed in another tourney. Second place paid $120. First $200. Maybe I should have offered her a chop when it got heads up!
The Players... Tourney #2:The second round of tournaments at the TowneHouse are always a little more wilder. Everyone who gets knocked out has a few more cocktails and are itching to play. Cliff starts hitting the straight vodka and I do what I can to get a nice buzz. My notes get a little thinner as we get past Midnight.
Seat 1: Sung
Seat 2: Pauly
Seat 3: Toby
Seat 4: Alma
Seat 5: Toni
Seat 6: Cliff
Seat 7: Jim
Seat 8: Kathy
Seat 9: Brian
Seat 10: Damon
I found myself in a rut of middle cards and weak aces. When I got decent hands... no action. I ended up bubbling out in 4th. I was sitting next to Toby so I was able to chat a little more with her.
11:06 pm EST... Cllff's Hilton Sisters KO'd Brian's KJ. No action for my AK or 88.
11:18pm EST... Toby is in the BB and she flops the Big Blind Special... two pair with 2-6. The flop was 2-3-6. Cliff limped in with 33. Toby bet, Cliff raised, and Toby moved all in. Cliff showed 33 and to make it even worse, he caught his qauds on the river. Toby out in 8th place.
11:40pm EST... Toni had A7. Kathy 22. The flop: A-2-7. The both moved all in. The turn was a 2. And the river a 7. Wow... 22 finally won a pot. Kathy knocked out Toni.
11:51pm EST... Jim was knocked out with A-10 by Alma's pocket 10s. I knocked out Kathy next when my 99 took down her A4. Sung had been hanging on and playing well.
12:01am EST... I realized that I was the short stack with T1200 and five players left. I picked blinds and limp bets with 77 and 99.
12:11am EST... Alma's QQ holds up against Sung's A9s. We reached the bubble. Damon, Cliff, Alma, and myself. I was still the shortstack and Damon had one of the bigger stacks considering he built it without knocking anyone out.
12:23am EST... I was knocked out. My AQs lost to Cliff's KK. Ouch. Bubbled out again. Second time I've done that at the TowneHouse.
The Money Winners...All in all, another decent run at the tables. I was up $40 overall and was close to making the money again. I stayed for some cash games and Toni had a new rule, "No Omaha after 2am." She was playing some pretty good music. She had used some of her previous poker winnings to buy a new satellite radio.
Tourney 1: Alma, Pauly, Toni, Cliff
Tourney 2: Alma, Cliff. Damon
Late Night Players:Kathy called the first game, something I never played before called: 3-5-7. It's real name was called "Take Pauly's Money". I was a little paranoid that they all sat around the conference room of their law firm and tried to conjure up some wacky game to suck out my bankroll. At this point, everyone at the TowneHouse reads my blog. No one thinks it sucks, which is cool. People like seeing their names in print. I definitely do. I'm a whore when it comes to that. Anyway, back to 3-5-7. I was confused with the rules at first...but I'm a fast learner. It's a derivative of guts. And here's the quickie explanation. Everyone antes and the pot size is what you can lose. You get 3 cards and 3's are wild. You are looking for your best hand (3 of a kinds with no straights or flushes). If you have the best hand you stay in. You have to beat whoever else stays in... if they lose, they owe you the size of the pot. Then you get two more cards... for five total. This time 5's are wild. Straights and flushes now count. Same thing... you see who has the best hand, if you wanna stay in. If you don't you pay zero. Finally you get 2 more cards, this time with 7's wild. Quads and straight flushes usually win. I lost a few hands early. It sucked.
Seat 1: Toni
Seat 2: Pauly
Seat 3: Alma
Seat 4: Sung
Seat 5: Cliff
Seat 6: Kathy
Seat 7: Damon
Toni hit a straight flush and a Royal Straight Flush! I also had quads 10s (all naturals). I ended up winning a few hands late when there was $30 in the pot. I had five Jacks at one point. Damon called Acey Duecey and I won. Shocker. I broke even at Hold'em and Crazy Homer and lost a few bucks playing 7-27. Overall I was up $75 in the cash games, Mostly from 3-5-7.
That's it. I wandered outside around 3am and gave a bum $1 as I took the subway home. The streets of Midtown are empty at that time of night and it's a spooky feeling walking down Park Avenue towards Grand Central with not one person around. A lot of wasted people are on the subways late night. Did you know that? One guy kept falling asleep and had the largest collection of drool falling off his upper lip. I wanted to take a picture, but The Man has prohibited photography in the NYC subway system out of "security concerns." See that's just another reason why I feel like a prisoner in my own city... I can't fully express my unalienable right to create art and post pictures onto my blog of drunk people with drool hanging off their lips. Thank God that the suits over at Homeland Security haven't issued an ukase on poker and they started randomly raiding home game and private clubs. At least, not yet for now.
Tomorrow is the Blue Parrot Invitational... the first ever NYC poker bloggers event. There's been a change in the lineup. Toni from the TowneHouse will be taking Joaquin's seat, who has a personal matter to attend to. As you know, F Train will be unable to make it as well. Julie... yeah, that Julie who took 3rd in the Las Vegas event... will be taking his spot. Can't wait.